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The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Premier League champion Manchester City is in the pole position to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie for 25 million pounds ($40.2 million), the Daily Mirror reported.
City is prepared to triple the 28-year-old Dutch striker’s wages to 250,000 pounds a week to beat Manchester United and Juventus to his signature, the Mirror added.
Van Persie will tomorrow hold talks with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about his future as he enters the final year of an 80,000-pounds-a-week contract, the Sun reported.
Arsenal is expected to offer Van Persie a new four-year deal worth 130,000 pounds a week and a signing-on fee of 5 million pounds in an attempt to keep him, the newspaper added.
City manager Roberto Mancini urged the club’s board to make “swift and decisive” moves for Van Persie and Lille winger Eden Hazard in the off-season, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Mancini has identified Napoli forward Edinson Cavani as an alternative should Arsenal refuse to sell Van Persie, the newspaper added.
Mancini will be offered a new four-year contract worth 20 million pounds as a reward for leading City to its first English league title in 44 years, the Daily Express reported.
The 5 million-pounds-a-season deal will put Mancini alongside Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson as the Premier League’s best-paid manager, the newspaper added.
Aston Villa is drawing up a shortlist of managerial candidates after firing Alex McLeish yesterday, with Wigan’s Roberto Martinez the early favorite for the post ahead of Norwich’s Paul Lambert and Brendan Rodgers of Swansea, the Guardian reported.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish flew to Boston to seek clarity on his future from club owner Fenway Sports Group, which is unhappy with the team’s eighth-place finish in the Premier League, the Independent reported.
Fenway Sports has offered no public affirmation that Dalglish retains its faith and players including defender Martin Skrtel also want to know what the club’s aims and ambitions are, the Independent added.
Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt criticized Dalglish’s team selection policy for affecting his form and said he’s being forced out of the club, the Sun reported.
“Last season I was scoring goals all over the place, but this season the manager bought three players who all played in my position,” the Sun cited Kuyt as saying. “In the rotation system he used, I never found my rhythm again and never felt my old self.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org
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